Photo by Brandi Pollock
Brandon, MB (CKLQ) – A trio of powerplay goals lifted the Calgary Hitmen to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Brandon Wheat Kings on Saturday night.
It was a pair of late powerplays that got the offense started on Saturday night. The Hitmen opened the scoring on their first man advantage as Mark Kastelic notched his team-leading 9th of the season.
Just 1:31 later on another powerplay it was Luke Prokop scoring his first WHL goal. In a neat twist, the goal was assisted by his brother Josh.
Until Saturday night the Wheat Kings had scored first in eight of the first nine games this season.
In the 2nd, Connor Gutenberg got the Wheat Kings on the board. Caiden Daley slipped a pass from below the goal line through a maze of legs and it was the Brandon native who found the back of the net past rookie netminder Jack McNaughton. Despite a flurry of chances on a later period powerplay, the Wheat Kings could not draw even.
Calgary would open up a 3-1 lead early in the third period as Luke Coleman found a loose puck behind Ethan Kruger and poked it over the goal line.
Baron Thompson would put Brandon on the comeback trail as he took a pass from ty Thorpe and beat McNaughton through the five-hole to cut the Hitmen lead to one.
Then with 7:57 left in the third period, Rossburn’s Chad Nychuk sent a seeing-eye wrist shot towards the Calgary goal. The knuckle-puck eluded the netminder and tied the game. For Nychuk, it was his first career Western Hockey League goal.
Late in the third period, Stelio Mattheos would be called for goaltender interference sending the Hitmen to the powerplay as the game rolled over into overtime.
Just 0:45 into the extra frame, Hitmen Captain Mark Kastelic snapped home his 2nd of the game to give the Hitmen their third straight victory on this Eastern Conference road trip.
The Hitmen finished the night 3/4 on the powerplay while Brandon couldn’t convert on their lone man advantage.
Ethan Kruger stopped 29 shots for the Wheat Kings while McNaughton made 28 saves for the win.
Brandon now opens a 14-day road trip on Tuesday in Lethbridge. (8:00 MB time on QCountry)
CGY – Mark Kastelic (9) (Yeryomenko, Zamula) 17:29 PPG
CGY – Luke Prokop (1) (J.Prokop, Focht) 19:00 PPG
Shots: 10-6 Calgary
BWK – Connor Gutenberg (4) (Daley, McCorrister) 4:53
Shots: 20-10 Brandon
CGY – Luke Coleman (3) (Focht, Toder) 5:57
BWK – Baron Thompson (1) (Thorpe, Hooker) 8:31
BWK – Chad Nychuk (1) (Thompson, Wytinck) 12:03
Shots: 12-5 Calgary
CGY – Mark Kastelic (11) (Kryski, Zamula) 0:45 PPG
Final Shots: 33-31 Calgary